The visit to Europe of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will boost China-European partnerships with the signing of several comprehensive deals in a number of trade sectors, a Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.
"During the visit Wen and the European leaders will witness the signing of cooperative deals on trade, investment, energy, education, the Olympics and youth exchanges," Li Ruiyu, who is in charge of European Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing on Wednesday.
The briefing came ahead of Wen's trip to Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Tajikistan from September 9-16. Wen is to visit the countries at the invitation of Finnish PM Matti Vanhanen, British PM Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Tajikistan PM Akil Akilov. He'll meet with the leaders and exchange views with them on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, Li said.
Wen will also attend the ninth China-EU Summit and the sixth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in Finnish capital Helsinki. Finland is the current holder of the rotating EU presidency.
The Chinese premier will announce that China will host the seventh ASEM in 2008, Li said. "Wen's visit will strongly push the China-Europe strategic partnership and promote China's ties with Finland, the UK and Germany," Li said.
The EU is China's biggest trading partner. Trade reached US$120.95 billion in the first half of 2006 which is a 20.9 percent increase over the same period last year.
During the news briefing, Zhang Xiao, a counselor of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Premier Wen's Tajikistan visit would exert significant impact on bilateral ties. "Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Tajikistan will be the first of its kind since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 14 years ago," Zhang said.
"The visit is aimed at deepening China-Tajikistan neighborly friendship, beefing up trade cooperation and cracking down on the 'three evil forces' of separatism, terrorism and extremism, " Zhang added.
Wen will hold talks with his Tajikistan counterpart Akil Akilov exchanging views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern. The visit will result in the signing of a series of cooperative deals.
Wen will also attend the Fifth Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to be held in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe. The meeting will focus on carrying out the decisions reached by the heads of SCO members at the June summit in Shanghai. Established in 2001 the SCO group members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2006)